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  • Writer's pictureThe Blooming Old Gardener

They who plant a garden, plant happiness

‘He who plants a garden, plants happiness.’ Chinese proverb.

Well, on sunny days you can see how the Bloomers garden is making people happy. I often see families and friends enjoying the garden in different ways. There are new playthings for young kids around the garden now. The noughts and crosses, mud kitchen, dinosaur table, vehicles, book tree and reading circle. While adults wander round looking at the plants or sit in the sun (or rain) having lunch. We have received some lovely compliments from visitors, in person and in posts on social media.

Talking of having lunch. Have you see that the Co Op near the garden is accepting soft plastics for recycling. For example, cleaned crisp packets, something we find as litter in the garden. We need visitors to take their litter home of course, but it’s good to see how more plastics can go on to be recycled..

Continuing with our monthly Romani theme, August is known as Giveskero- the month of the corn. Obviously as it was time to harvest grain, a big event in the rural year. Families would gather in the wheat, working hard. Then spend the evenings playing hard by singing and dancing We don’t grown wheat and corn, but we do grow grasses. I love the way the tall grasses sway in the wind and the colours that they have changed to and the seed heads they create.

Many plants in the garden have been at their peak this last month.. The sunflowers are getting quite tall now, so I have tied them to canes. I’ve been picking and pulling flowers from plants like the Peruvian lily, to keep the plants flowering. And the rockery plants keep throwing up little surprises in the form of new flowers.

Lavender in the garden has been a great source of nectar for pollinators. It has passed it peak now so as the flower sprigs die off the plants are being lightly cut back. Hopefully some may get a second burst of flowers. I haven’t got round to drying lavender this year, but I like to keep a few sprigs in my bedroom for their colour, smell and relaxation properties. They are a great plant to grow in dry areas, being related to Mediterranean herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme. As a cooking ingredient it works best in sweets, so can be sugared and used in cake and ice cream. Give it a go. Personally I like it infused with gin and a Mediterranean tonic.

The veg garden also has flowers. I particularly love the thistle-like flower of the cardoons. The tomatoes are turning red and being picked now. The courgettes are appearing and the last of the blackcurrants are being picked. The volunteers have worked hard, so the recent wet spells gave them a break from watering. But when plants have large leaves it often stops rain getting to the soil. I’ve been removing leaves a bit on some of the bushier plants to make space for the rain to get through.

I’ve been sowing some winter veg by the moon. And now have kale, cabbage, broccoli and winter lettuce seedlings. The caterpillars have eaten most the first batch I sowed last month. A shame, as they were looking good until the butterflies got laying eggs on them. Incidentally, for my butterfly spotting sessions I only saw white winged butterflies. Has anyone spotted anything else? There seems to be less around this year.

Regular blog readers may remember that I got a wormery at home about 2 years ago. I started off with 50 tiger worms. They must have been happy making their compost and producing plant food, as the 50 became about 2000. And no, I didn’t count them. This month I emptied the wormery to collect the compost and give the whole thing a bit of a tidy. I collected most of the worms together and have been finding them new homes. I’ve kept about 200 and they are currently settling in again. This is best done in the summer so that they have created a good environment for them to survive the winter. So if you would like to adopt some tiger worms, let me know.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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